Tag Archives: Business

RIT Entrepreneurs Conference 2011: Web of Opportunities

My report of Rochester Institute of Technology’s 8th Annual Entrepreneurs Conference which was attended by over 600 RIT students, professors, alumni, and outside businesses looking to better themselves for the digital future. Written by Juliet Rocco

Friday, October 21, 7:20am: My day began very early. I was volunteering at the conference by assisting local high school groups in making sure they got to their desired workshops throughout the day. I was also able to attend a few workshops that catered to my own interests. David Kidder, CEO of Clickable.com and RIT alum was the keynote speaker for the event.

8:30am Session 1 – Entrepreneurship and Social Media: I arrived a little late to the first workshop because I was running around like a mad woman trying to make sure 63 high schoolers where in the right place at the right time. Eventually, I was able to take my seat and listen in on RIT’s Saunders College of Business Associate Marketing Professor, Raj Murthy and Assistant Professor, Neil Hair. This was my favorite and most entertaining workshop of the day by far!

Crowdsourcing was one of the topics I was less familiar with and excited to learn more about. Essentially, its definition is very similar to that of outsourcing. The example given during the presentation was about a company looking to hire new, excited, young people to fill a few open positions. They reached out to their current young employees and had them ask their own friends via Facebook. This was a great way to get people interested in applying for the job and much easier for the company in the pre-selection screening process. Also discussed were branding yourself, setting up personal Google Alerts, and demystifying the Quick Response (QR) codes for the less tech savvy in the room.

9:45am Session 2 – Making Money from the Web-Digital Entrepreneurship

I really enjoyed listening in on this session and taking notes on David Kidder. Associate Professor, Vic Perotti served as moderator and Kidder was able to take some of our questions throughout the workshop pertaining to his past ventures.

Kidder also gave some helpful advice: In this world you “make your own luck” and in the future “designers are going to rule the world.” —I had a brief personal moment here where my evil inner laugh began to surface because I thought to myself, “That’s me! I’m a designer and a marketer. I’m going to take over the world!” Umm OK, snapping back to reality…

Kidder explained that ideas should be perfected, and more brilliance on a single idea means more accuracy. Think about perfecting the idea as a continuum to keep it running smooth and efficiently. Also keep into perspective that the commercial web is only about 16 years old; still young and full of so many opportunities for growth! True genius, as covered in my post about Steve Jobs, revolves around multiple disciplines. Jobs was successful because he did so many different things to help better himself and his business.

11:15am Keynote Speaker – David Kidder, CEO of Clickable.com

“It’s not what you say ‘no’ to, it’s what you say ‘yes’ to.” – David Kidder

Key takeaways from his presentation:

  • You can’t be average anymore.
  • Be objective. Be rebellious. Be an outsider.
  • See the future when no one else can.
  • Get on revenue streams.
  • Listen & watch what the market is doing.
  • Take the risk on that ONE big idea.

Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed the conference, both attending and volunteering. I was able to get some great advice and whether I want to do a startup or not, it’s still inspiring to see so many unique people who have been successful and willing to share their experiences with us. Hopefully, this will leave you with some inspiration as well! And who knows, I could be the next keynote speaker…keeping my options open for now.

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Business Students a.k.a “Twinkies”

Generation Y is the fastest growing demographic in the workforce. Finding a way out of the “cookie cutter” business student stereotype and setting ourselves apart from one another is one of the biggest challenges we face, aside from finding a job. Written by Juliet Rocco

I saw a comedian a few years ago who brought up how business majors are like Twinkies; we’re all the same inside and out and there is no shortage. Along with everyone else in the room, I laughed at first, but then couldn’t help but ponder what made us all Twinkies. Why weren’t other majors being grouped into tasty junk foods?

It took me until much later to realize what he was talking about. As a business major, you learn to network in a world that ranks how well you can dress and talk the talk. We are all put through the same requirements of producing a professional resume, doing extensive group work, and networking through events. I’ve done numerous mock interviews, trying on business suits, and figuring out my elevator speech for employers.

This was all done because I was required to do it. As I do find this beneficial to my overall professional being, one thing continues to stand out in my mind—why are we not being taught how to become individuals? To set ourselves apart from the rest of the competition? I’m trying to stand out like the beautiful butterfly I am, but all of this generic content is getting in the way.

I know it’s challenging to find that niche that will put you over the top, especially so early into your professional career, but it is important to continue to find something that makes you unique. Without further adieu, here are my tips on how to avoid being a Twinkie:

  • Come up with an original/creative/awesome elevator speech.
  • Design your own business cards.
  • Branch out (I once met a recruiting manager from a Fortune 50 company while waiting at the airport and got his business card, just from having small talk).
  • It’s who you know.
  • Create something new, and brag about it. Get inspired!
  • Don’t compare yourself to others, use them as motivation instead.
  • Have a sense of humor!
  • Maintain a Nike attitude and Just Do It!
  • It’s all about personality and positivity in the workplace.

Takeaway: For my fellow Gen Y’ers, I can only give one piece of advice: Do what you’re most passionate about. People will take notice and appreciate what you have to contribute.

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The Man Who Made an Apple Famous

Steve Jobs impacted not only the technology landscape, but the business field as we know it. A look at how self-branding and consumer engagement led to his overall success in the consumer technology market. Written by Juliet Rocco

Wednesday, October 5, 7:44pm: “Steve Jobs dead at 56.” I was in shock, and reading this on my MacBook Pro nontheless in a room full of other RIT students. Along with millions of others, I learned about Steve Jobs’ passing while using one of his incredible products.

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.”- Steve Jobs, BusinessWeek Online, Oct. 12, 2004

The world reacts: People from around the world were responding to this influential person’s passing in record time, thanks to technology, and most likely thanks to him. Within the next 15 minutes of the news breaking, “Steve Jobs” became a trending topic on Twitter, Apple’s main website put up a memorial, Facebook was blowing up with updates, and even Google honored the late Jobs. I hadn’t turned on a single TV yet and already knew every detail of the event. Whether you consider Apple to be an evil empire or a fantastical fortress of technology, the man was an innovative genius and his company has maintained success because of it.

Who was Steve Jobs? It is impossible to describe Steve Jobs in just a few words. He was a CEO, an entrepreneur, an innovator, a visionary, a keynote speaker, a businessman, a nerd, and a dad. I grew up using Apple products. I’m sure some of you can remember the good old days when the Apple logo was rainbow! His presentations were like Christmastime for the techies and even people who were not super tech savvy stopped and listened to what this man had to say. He was the Santa Clause of the tech product market. Once a year, he would bring the world gifts that only he and his amazing team of developers could possibly think of.

Why was Steve Jobs so successful? Because he knew how to market his products, appeal to the audience, and brand himself. Jobs’ signature style? A black turtleneck sweater and jeans. (Curiously enough, if you google “black turtleneck and jeans,” the first hit brings you to Steve Jobs’ Wikipedia page.) His charisma was representative in not only himself but of Apple as a company.

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs

Although computers had been used commercially since the 1950’s, Jobs took marketing this technology to a whole new level by the early 2000’s. He made it new and most importantly, engaging. People were now passionate about phones and computers…waiting days outside the Apple stores in the cold and rain just to get latest and greatest thing! Who would have thought?! These early adopters became product mavens and evangelists of everything Apple as a result of the business strategies being used.

The key to Jobs’ success was that he never settled for anything less and was a natural born leader. We may never see another figure quite like him in our lifetime again. He was a true visionary who will always remembered.

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